Intel Battlemage rumor suggests 2nd-gen GPUs might be too little, too late, sadly

Intel Arc rumors are indicating that if Battlemage GPUs aren't already a lost cause, these graphics cards are seriously floundering.

2 minutes & 18 seconds read time

Intel's Battlemage GPUs have a sizeable question mark hanging over their future, if one leaker is to be believed - and don't expect these graphics cards to debut any time soon (indeed, if the 2nd-gen products turn up at all - more on that later).

This is from Moore's Law is Dead (MLID), who has got a whole bunch of info from sources with their ears to the ground, and the overall - worrying - message here is that Battlemage has had a whole pile of issues.

Apparently things are so bad with the 2nd-gen range from Intel that its future is "very uncertain," we're told - hinting that it may not even come out. (That cancelation rumor is something Intel has strenuously denied in the past, it has to be noted).

If Battlemage is coming, it will be pretty late, MLID asserts. The likely launch timeframe is now late in Q2 2024, going by the best-case scenario (so almost a year from now), but these graphics cards are more likely to slide into the second half of next year, the leaker reckons.

The number of models in the Battlemage range will also likely be significantly cut down. Whereas previously a whole line-up was planned, at all levels, now the top-end models are dispensed with, and the beefiest SKU will supposedly be a GPU with a die size of 362mm2 equipped with 448 EUs (built on TSMC 4nm).

If you're familiar with Intel's current range, you'll realize this is smaller, and has fewer EUs, than the Alchemist A770 (it has 512 EUs).

This fastest Battlemage graphics card will run with a 256-bit memory bus and 16GB of Video RAM (GDDR6X, or maybe even GDDR7, we're told).

Of course, a new architecture and generational gains therein will come into play with Battlemage, so comparing EUs isn't the full story, but you get the picture - the 2nd-gen chips are considerably less ambitious than Intel originally intended.

It's a coin flip?

Want to hear something else rather concerning? MLID believes that there's only a 50-50 chance of that GPU with 448 EUs coming out, and it could well end up canned (leaving only lower-end products for Intel's 2nd-gen).

Those other Battlemage GPUs that still seem somewhat firmer prospects will have 320 and 256 EUs, with 12GB (192-bit) and 8GB (128-bit) of VRAM respectively, the leaker says.

MLID still maintains that Arc is 'effectively canceled' and 'AFK for the foreseeable future,' by which the leaker means that we won't see much of a release at all. Perhaps only one graphics card late next year, or indeed nothing until 2025, perhaps (as other sources MLID has spoken with seem to believe).

All this is just rumors and chatter on the grapevine, naturally, and given the stance Intel has taken in defending Arc thus far when talk has turned to cancelation, it's difficult to believe that it'll be entirely canned.

However, it's certainly plausible that what we'll see released will be quite limited in scope, and if MLID is even near being correct, don't expect many SKUs from Intel's 2nd-generation - and don't count on a launch until the second half of 2024, either.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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